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Air Pollution

Haze and poor visibility grounds morning flights into Mae Hong Son

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Haze and poor visibility grounds morning flights into Mae Hong Son | The Thaiger
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Poor visibility from local smoke haze and smog has forced Bangkok Airways to cancel flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son until at least this Saturday. Mae Hong Son in the far north-west of Thailand, on the Myanmar border.

The airline says poor visibility is a result of forest fires. It has cancelled at least 10 flights because of the reduced visibility.

Smoke haze has blanketed Thailand’s north, especially popular destinations Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, for the past month.

Aviation chiefs say Mae Hong Son Airport has continued its operations because poor visibility occurred mainly in the mornings.

“Flights during other hours of the day can still operate as usual,” the airport explained.

Three airlines fly into Mae Hong Son Airport.

Haze and poor visibility grounds morning flights into Mae Hong Son | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Air Pollution

Residents express health concerns as smog engulfs Pattaya

Maya Taylor

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Residents express health concerns as smog engulfs Pattaya | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Pattaya News

Pattaya residents have expressed concern over air pollution, as the eastern coastal city finds itself engulfed in smog. The Pattaya News reports that the deterioration in air quality has been ongoing for a number of days, with a cloud of haze obscuring the bay and neighbouring islands.

Residents are advised to wear masks when outside and to limit outdoor exercise, according to officials, who have so far not clarified what the cause of the pollution might be. It comes as mass sugar cane burning is taking place in farming communities around the country, an activity that has caused air pollution problems in the past. While sugar cane burning is technically illegal, residents say the law is not strongly enforced, resulting in an annual rise in air pollution levels.

Residents express health concerns as smog engulfs Pattaya | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Pattaya News

Netizens are urging the government to do more to prosecute farmers and large companies found indulging in the practice. They are also calling on sugar cane customers to reject burnt produce, in the hope it will force producers to use cleaner harvesting methods.

In the past, officials have pointed to tourist traffic, including airplanes, boats, and buses, as being a possible cause of the pollution. However, with air quality continuing to deteriorate, despite the current significant decline in air travel and tourist numbers, that hypothesis seems unlikely.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Air Pollution

Crackdown on vehicles emitting black exhaust to tackle Bangkok pollution

Caitlin Ashworth

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Crackdown on vehicles emitting black exhaust to tackle Bangkok pollution | The Thaiger

Buses, trucks and other vehicles that puff out clouds of black exhaust could be fined and may even be suspended from driving on the road. The Pollution Control Department says the government plans to tighten vehicle inspections in Bangkok to tackle air pollution.

In Bangkok, the air quality fluctuates throughout the day and week. Recently, levels of PM2.5 in some areas have been considered unhealthy. The air pollutant PM2.5 is fine participate matter which can be harmful to people’s health at high levels.

The crackdown on vehicles emitting excessive black smoke is intended to lower the levels of PM2.5, according to the department’s director general Attapol Charoenchansa. He adds that too much pollution is produced from diesel engine combustion.

Under Thailand’s Land Transport Act, vehicles that emit an excessive amount of smoke can be suspended from the road until the problem is fixed. Attapol says the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will “intensify” measures to tackle the pollution.

In past inspections, thousands of vehicles have been found to emit black exhaust, but only a portion of them have been fined. From October 2019 to September 2020, out of the 9,539 vehicles inspected, 7,010 emitted black exhaust, but only 2,526 were fined.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Air Pollution

Urgent plan to reduce PM2.5 – National Environment Board

Caitlin Ashworth

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Urgent plan to reduce PM2.5 – National Environment Board | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Nick van den Berg

With the air pollutant PM2.5 rising to harmful levels in some areas of Bangkok and increasing in other cities, the National Environment Board has approved an urgent plan. Pollution Control Department chief Atthaphon Charoenchansa says the plan has 12 measures to tackle pollution. It will be submitted to the Cabinet for review.

A “pollution information centre” will be formed with a spokesperson to report on Thailand’s air quality situation and a subcommittee focused on forest fires in 17 northern provinces. The committee would act similar to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration by providing information to the public and working on solutions.

The plan also includes a smartphone application to regulate seasonal burning which contributes to Thailand’s air pollution. The application would be used to book specific times for burning.

The board is also looking into using satellite images through the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency to predict levels of dust pollution and provide alerts with a forecast.

“A 3 day advance dust forecast is the most practical tool to deal with PM2.5 by alerting people in affected areas via SMS.”

According to the Air Visuals, pollution levels are expected to rise this week to an Air Quality Index, or AQI, of 151 to 200, which is considered to be unhealthy. Air Visuals recommends closing windows at home to avoid the dirty outdoor air and to reduce outdoor exercise.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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